Archived Legal Articles from 2018

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Ministry of Justice proposal to test a 6 months wait for Divorce


The Ministry of Justice wants to test a minimum six-month wait for a Decree Absolute to be granted. The basis of this is that the Ministry of Justice thinks this will allow a sufficient period for most couples to consider the implications of divorce and reach a practical agreement on arrangements whilst…

Maintenance within Financial Remedy Proceedings


A wife challenged a recent Court of Appeal decision to end periodic payments from her ex-husband. The Supreme Court confirmed it's refusal for permission to appeal because the application did not raise an arguable point of law. The decision means family lawyers will have to wait for further…

"DIVORCE DAY": is it a Myth?


The first working Monday of the New Year has been dubbed "Divorce Day" by the press, as it is claimed to be the busiest day of the year for family lawyers, with unhappy couples queuing up to formally end their marriage - but is this just a myth? Whilst the idea of people queuing up to end…

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Legal Aid Cuts and the Impact for Family Law Cases


The President of the Family Division of the High Court, Sir Andrew McFarlane, in an interview with  The Times  highlights the negative impact on family law proceedings because of cuts to legal aid fees. Being able to commission an expert opinion from a doctor or child psychologist for family court…

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Children's Commissioner warns of the 'Toxic Trio'


The media have recently reported on the Children's Commissioner's report which highlights that an estimate of 8,300 babies are growing up with issues of alcohol or substance misuse, domestic violence and mental health  - known as the "toxic trio" from their parents. Children are identified…

Civil Partnerships Law to Change for Mixed Sex Couples


Theresa May has announced that the law will soon change to allow same sex couples and mixed sex couples to both have the option of a civil partnership. At the moment, same sex couples have the choice of marriage or to enter into a civil partnership. However, mixed sex couples only have the choice of a…

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Fault-Based Divorce Could Be A Thing Of The Past


It is in the news again this week that Justice Secretary David Gauke is set to announce a consultation on plans for a major change to divorce laws which could see couples being allowed no-fault divorces and spouses losing the right to contest the breakdown of a marriage. The current law in England and…

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Forced Marriage: Home Secretary Vows to take Action


The Home Secretary has recently indicated in the media that she intends to take action over forced marriages.  Charities have warned that the Home Office has failed to protect British women and teenage girls forced into abusive marriages by granting visas to husbands abroad.  The Home Secretary has…

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Facing Your Domestic Abuser in Court


In the Family Courts, victims of domestic abuse often have to face their abuser in Court, this can be very stressful and traumatic for them.  Katie Ghose, Chief Executive of Women's Aid has said that this can allow the perpetrator to continue abusing.  She stated that the cross-examination of victims…

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Forced Marriage, successful prosecution - jail sentence of 4 years


A mother who had forced her 17 year old daughter to marry a 36 year old in Pakistan in September 2016 has been sentenced today at Birmingham Crown Court.  The court concluded that the daughter had been sold for her passport.  The jury heard that the daughter had protested against the marriage however…

New President of Family Division


Sir James Munby, who is the current President of the Family Division, retires on 27 July, handing over the baton to Sir Andrew McFarlane who is a Court of Appeal Judge. Sir James Munby has seen a huge change in his time as President and a move towards digitalisation of the court system.  He has…

Digitisation of divorce applications


Outspoken Judge and President Judge Munby has said that the pilot of the digitised divorce petition has been a "triumphant success". It has been found that 13,000 hours of court staff time could be saved by applications being made online rather than paper applications.  Adam Lennon, who is…

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Are you Divorced or not Divorced - That is the question?


Senior Divorce Judge, Sir James Munby, has ordered Courts to apologise for the 'devastating impact' errors have had on newly divorced couples who thought they had formally separated following a series of blunders by officials.  The series of errors appears to have been made at the 11 divorce centres…

Is no-fault divorce the way forward?


Britain's top family judge, Sir James Munby has suggested that no blame divorce should be introduced for those people "trapped in a loveless marriage". According to the current law, those wishing to apply for a divorce must show that their marriage has broken down irretrievably on one of the…

Divorce and Finances


Everybody's experience when divorcing is different. It is impossible to compare a friend or relative's divorce outcome with that of your own, as circumstances will be different. However, in all divorces, how the husband and wife act could influence the settlement and how fair it is.…

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Domestic Abuse Reforms


Today Theresa May has launched a consultation on the Government's new domestic abuse Bill. This much anticipated draft Bill will provide for the first time a statutory definition of domestic abuse that includes economic abuse, alongside other forms of non-physical abuse. Family, Civil or Criminal…

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